...are you doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly?
Have you had a baby recently? Been told over and over....do your pelvic floors or kegels?
But how do you actually know if you are doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly?
The short answer is....you don't....unless you have a postnatal examination of your pelvic floor, but read on for some great tips on what you're meant to do. . Firstly, don't feel bad if you just can't make sense of how to find the oh so elusive pelvic floor. It's not a muscle we are as familiar with compared to the calf or your biceps, so expecting you to know how to work it, when your body is recovering from pregnancy and perhaps you had a tear/episiotomy during birth - is pretty tough. . You're right to wonder if you're doing them correctly to be fair...we know from research into this subject that 50% of ladies who have had a written/verbal instruction on technique, will do them incorrectly. Which is why the gold standard is to be examined, for feedback and coaching on the correct technique. . Let's understand some anatomy. Theses muscles are INTERNAL. They are not your butt muscles, or your inner thighs. They run from your pubic joint at the front of the pelvis to your tailbone at the back, and side to side between your sitting bones. They loop round all the 'openings', and essentially keep things shut when we don't want anything coming out. . The best way to get a good contraction of your pelvic floor is to initiate it from your back passage. That feeling of a bit of wind coming, and you don't want to let it out while stood next to your boss or in a queue. You need to think about lifting UP and FORWARDS. Like your anus is drawing up and in towards your belly button. . How many? How long do I hold for? . We also can't answer this properly without an internal assessment. When we check your pelvic floor we’re not just looking at WHAT you do, but we measure your strength and endurance. We can then design you a bespoke exercise programme based on your current ability. . A general guide though, which of course has its limitations, is to aim for 10 slow repetitions where you hold a contraction for 10 seconds, and 10 fast ones where you release each one right away. That's not much help if you can't manage that, which is why individualised assessment and treatment is always preferable. . How often? . Once a day for maintenance,
. The app 'Squeezy' which you can get on your phone is a great tool to remind you when to do the exercises and is written by NHS pelvic health Physios, so it's evidence based and good quality! .
I offer new Mums a 'One Stop Mum Check' at St Judes Clinic in Leighton Buzzard which is a thorough assessment of your postnatal recovery. It encompasses an assessment of your postnatal posture, your abdominals and an internal pelvic floor check up. Why not book an assessment so that you start a great postnatal recovery?
. Look out for another blog coming soon with tips on how to achieve a good activation of your pelvic floor and improve your awareness of how to exercise this part of your body. . . . . . . #leightonbuzzard #pilatesleightonbuzzard #postnatal #womenshealthphysiotheary #runningmums #mothernurturepilates